With each passing year, our society makes more progress towards gender equality, although even in the United States, the fight for equality is still not over. The gender gap is still prevalent in the workforce as many women have to face challenges their male counterparts don’t necessarily experience. One of the more male-dominated fields today is business, specifically entrepreneurialism. While female entrepreneurs can still be successful, generally, it takes longer for a woman-run business to grow especially because they usually don’t receive as much funding. Unfortunately, the pay gap still hinders many women from prospering as much as their male counterparts and can be a deterrent for women to make the first step and take the risks you need to become an entrepreneur. For this reason, it’s helpful to take all the following steps to have a successful business for years to come.
Engage a Mentor
A common issue women entrepreneurs face is the lack of a strong role model. Having guidance from someone who has been in your position once and can provide sound advice is more valuable than people may realize. Without a trusted business strategist, many new business owners aren’t aware of which steps they should be taking to grow their business. A leadership coach is someone who can be one hundred percent honest with their advisees and be available as a sounding board. Much of today’s business news closely follows male entrepreneurs and their every move such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, which can demotivate many women from trying to do the same. Therefore, women entrepreneurs need to have executive role models that can help guide them to the future they want for themselves.
Be Confident in Your Risks
One of the most difficult aspects of starting a business is risking both the time and the money. Being reckless with spending habits should be avoided but starting a business requires owners to invest for future profits. Many small start-ups have the most trouble with their cash flow and aren’t careful about going into debt. So, while it requires confidence to take the first steps, be cautious with how you proceed especially while your business is just starting up.
Know How to Disconnect
Many entrepreneurs have to spend a lot of their time and mental focus on their businesses and can start to be consumed by their work. While some people enjoy a workaholic mentality, ongoing work for long periods can lead to mental and physical burn-out. That’s why it’s valuable for people to learn how to disconnect and learn the difference between work and relaxation. Many alternative forms of medicine can aid in overall wellness such as traditional Chinese medicine because they focus on healing the body through nutrition, herbology, and acupuncture. Having a personally crafted wellness plan can help keep women entrepreneurs mentally and physically healthy, so they can be the best versions of themselves at work.
Never Stop Learning
Look not only to gain wealth but also to gain a wealth of knowledge. Make the effort to learn something new every day whether you’re working to become an expert in a specific field or looking to learn more about running a business. A one hundred percent success rate is almost impossible when starting a business. By learning from your mistakes and improving upon your failures, success will be a greater probability the next time around. Writing down the lessons you’ve learned and important/motivational phrases can help you keep track of what you as an individual find most important. Everyone has a unique workflow and learning pattern, so focusing in on what’s most important can help build your mantra and keep you grounded.
Inspire Others Around You
Once you’ve gotten your feet off the ground, be sure to make yourself known to other entrepreneurs like yourself. By networking, you can find more like-minded people as well as open up new business opportunities with others in your network. Being a helping hand to other women like yourself can help them grow faster against the odds, and help close the gender gap between men and women. By supporting educators that value collaboration and growth, you can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. For our society to continue growing in this way, inspiring the people around you to chase their dreams can make a huge difference in women’s lives, whether young or old.
Assuring the success of yourself and others around you can boil down to maintaining the proper balance between your personal and your professional life. While it’s important to take risks to grow, it’s also important to be cautious with how expenses and debt are managed. The balance between work life and personal time is also essential to remain happy and healthy which, in the long run, allows you to lead a more fulfilling life. Finally, remember to seek out the advice of others in order to expand your network and eventually to help others along the way. The best entrepreneurs know they can’t run a business entirely on their own, which is why it’s important to foster lasting connections with like-minded people around you.